When the sea god Poseidon assaults Medusa in Athene's temple, the goddess is enraged. Furious by the violation of her sacred space, Athene takes revenge—on the young woman. Punished for Poseidon's actions, Medusa is forever transformed.
Among the communal sisterhood of the winged and snake-haired... Haynes is at her most affecting ... Haynes also has a delightfully droll sense of humor, which she brings to bear on her deities ... Less winningly, Haynes’s commitment to providing multiple perspectives, spread out over dozens of short chapters, can leave a reader feeling disoriented, if not perplexed ... By the book’s end, readers may begin to suspect that its author takes mythology not only seriously but somehow personally.
In Haynes’s telling the Olympian gods are spiteful, silly and self-centred. Haynes is not the first interpreter to see them that way, but she may be the wittiest ... Haynes left standup comedy when she realised she preferred tragedy. The dichotomy is a false one. Comedy can break your heart, while tragedy is intensified by a wise-cracking grave-digger ... With this, her third novel based on ancient myth, she has found a way of using all her classical erudition and her vivid sense of the ambiguous potency of the ancient stories, while being simultaneously very, very funny.
The power of the novel lies in the way that, like Ovid, it weaves disparate tales together to create a coherent patchwork ... Haynes is brilliant on the brutality of male violence, unshackling it from the euphemism that has couched countless rapes and sexual assaults in woolly abstraction ... Haynes began her career as a broadcaster and comedian ... This background is evident in the rollicking narrative voice that energises Stone Blind. It is a voice that feels at once bitingly (post)modern and filled with old wisdom.